Verizon data is throttled, and stuck in Safety Mode

Why does Verizon’s customer service suck? I pay a premium for their service. Is there a more expensive phone service I can buy, where I can talk to a human? Dealing with Verizon this week felt like I had signed up for a 2010 Cricket Phone.

This week I received a notice that I had used up all of my high bandwidth data, and that I was being dropped into “Safety Mode”. Safety Mode is a no-cost solution, where you get really slow internet, but it doesn’t cost you any additional money for the month.

I went online to check – and saw my bill was 2 days overdue. I paid it, and then checked my data. I still had several GB left for the month. I attempted to understand what was going on by using the “chat” feature. This was not helpful. The response time was really bad, but I needed my highspeed access as I was traveling, and needed my phone as a hotspot.

Each response from a “live agent” took 5-10 minutes, and were not helpful. They did not seem to understand the problem I was having. It seemed that my data was being throttled, but Verizon website indicated I had data left. The last part of the exchange involved them asking me if I wanted to turn safety mode off. I don’t want it “off”, and that helped clarify that the “live agent” couldn’t understand my problem. In addition – Verizon can’t toggle the setting on or off – the user has to do it manually. It is worth noting that the Live Agent was unresponsive for at least an hour when I finally gave up.

The next day I called, and was able to be connected to a human. The process for this is really irritating:

  • Verizon Asks for your PIN. You cannot type it right away, you have to try and say it first. When this fails
  • Verizon Asks for your PIN, but now you can type it in.
  • Verizon wants to know why you are calling.
  • Verizon immediately txts you and tells you that responding is the fastest way to speak with someone
  • If you choose to hold, some music plays and
  • An Agent picks up the phone

It’s not a big deal to do this once or twice, but after the 10th time you are ready to strangle someone. Why 10 times? I’ll get there.

The Agent I spoke with was very friendly, and I explained my problem. That it seemed like my data was being throttled, but that I also had data remaining. She said that it did look like I was being throttled and using “Safety Mode” – but that she couldn’t do anything about it – that I’d have to change it myself. I disconnected, and went online. Note: Trying to use the verizon website while on safety mode sucks.

If you look at the Safety Mode – you’ll will notice something interesting. You can’t actually disable it. You can disable it for NEXT MONTH, but not for the current month. It’s like overdraft protection – you pay for the month. So by turning it off, I’m just turning off my ability to get cheap data WHEN i run out of high speed data. So what I want to have happen is … I want to stop using low speed data, and use the high speed data I clearly have. I still want to keep the safety data as a backup. I just don’t want to use it now.

I call verizon back to help me understand the proper course of action. This is where the hell begins. Everytime I call, and choose to go on hold, the music loops for several minutes, and then I’m just disconnected.

After about 20 minutes of this calling waiting / calling waiting / when I do call back I’m just told they are closed. Meanwhile, I’m stuck with throttled data, even though I have GBs of high speed data left.

Because I have no other choice, I’m forced back to the “live chat” option. I find it is basically impossible to speak to anyone. I eventually just leave the chat window open. About an hour and a half later, I receive a text saying “we are waiting for your response”. I was asleep at that point.

The following day, I attempted multiple times to contact verizon – I was routed to an endless hold over and over again.

Today, now that my vacation is over – I tried again. After 48 minutes of waiting to speak with someone, I started to write this post. I opened up a chat window from my desktop – which seems to work much better than using the phone. 15 minutes later, I explain my frustration and desire to speak with someone live about my problem.

I didn’t even know I could schedule a call.

Oh right, guess they can’t do that either. I try to get someone to call me back, but again – it’s pushed to tomorrow.

Why is this so difficult? Is Verizon just looking for anyway to gouge more money from me? Is there a premium service I can buy so I don’t have to spend HOURS dealing with a Verizon fuck up? I can’t even threaten to change to another service provider.

So yeah, fuck verizon.

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